This pattern is my go-to when I want to use up a single skein of interesting or variegated yarn for a gift, but be able to knit completely mindlessly. If you're looking for a first-time guide, I recommend doing 6-8 inches of garter, 6-8 rows of pattern, 8-12 rows of garter, 6-8 rows of pattern, and repeat til you run out of yarn (ending with 2-6 garter rows).

Of note: You can choose to replace the YO increases with the increase of your choice; for instance, M1Rs after the first and third markers and M1Ls before the second and final markers will pull your fabric a bit "tighter" and will work better for something that's meant to be warmer, whereas YO gives a nice open and loose feeling (plus doesn't involve remembering whether you're doing M1R or M1L).


I use a garter tab cast on that creates a nice top border that is 3 stitches wide.
Cast on 3, knit 7 rows, don't turn work, pick up 3 stitches from the top of the work, knit 3, pick up 3 stitches drom the cast on edge, knit 3, turn work.

(This is the same method showcased here in this free tutorial video for Stephen West's Boneyard shawl, if you are a visual learner.)

Set up row (WS): I recommend placing markers as follows to visually break up the border and center stitches from the normal pattern:
k3 || k1 || k1 (center stitch) || k1 || k3


I recommend doing garter for the first 50+ rows to build up a solid amount of fabric before you experiment with adding the pattern. More garter = more solid, more pattern rows = more lacy looking. I also usually do between 8-12 rows of garter in between any given pattern section to create a striping effect.

RS: k3 || yo, k to m, yo || k1 (center stitch) || yo, k to m, yo || k3
WS: knit all


(4 row repeating pattern, I typically do 6-8 rows for 3-4 repeats. Start with RS1's beginning of row, but if you find yourself with the wrong number of stitches before a marker at any point, just use the instructions for what to do with that number of stitches)

k3 (border) || yo, k1, *(yo, k2tog) to m, yo || k1 (center stitch) || *(yo, ssk) to1 before m, k1, yo || k3 (border)
knit all
k3 (border) || k1, *(yo, k2tog) to 1 before m, yo, k1, yo || k1 (center stitch) || yo, k1, *(yo, ssk) to m, yo || k3 (border)
knit all


I recommend binding off on a RS row at least 2-3 garter rows after the end of your last pattern repeat. Bind off using a stretchy bind-off to maximize the flexibility of this scarf (or shawl)!